Zero Theorem doesn’t write simple songs. This Los Angeles-based rock group is focused on writing songs that hit every sensory gland and knock out your teeth with gripping rock riffs. Hard rock, but even heavier with thematic lyrics, “Swarm” is the first single from the forthcoming EP The Killing II due later this year.
Starting out with a swarming sound of buzzing bees, “Swarm” takes little time to start obliterating faces. Switching between hefty guitars and the crowded rhythm section, Zero Theorem aims for a direct line to giving listeners a sense of what is really happening. We’re self-involved. We’re too worried about what everyone else thinks to that we’ve lost our ability to think differently. You get sucked into the struggle and before you know it, they sing, you’re right inside the ghost. Itching to get across that feeling, the pounding drums and the throbbing bass guitar are so interwoven it’s hard to tell what-is-what and which-is-which.
Lead singer, Caesar, has the listener wrapped around his finger. The verve, the vigor in his voice throws daggers laced with hope. His contradicting voice with the lyrics makes for an even more dramatic sonic experience and something about his voice tells me he could probably sing lead in an opera. The natural tension in his voice is uniquely divine. I’m certain I could hear him sing the weather report and would be ready to enlist in his army. Take a picture now…keep the gift you have, he pleads. The tumultuous music bed running beneath him is like a tornado, shattering everything in its path that it doesn’t swallow. Swarm! Swarm!, the underlayer vocals shout. In a lot of ways, I could see this song as the soundtrack to a video game or even the next Marvel blockbuster. Brick after brick, this song just keeps building territories and levels like a Mind Craft exercise.
Two guitars fight against each other, with a slight sense of elasticity that gives some breathing room for the bass guitar and drums to sneak in their attack. The synergy is palpable – and is visually present in the band’s music video. An orb of light – a soul – is found in the animated robots. It’s a pretty futuristic video (or not) and chastises humanity for conformity and assembly line thoughts. Lubomir Atan created the music video’s animation and also directed.
The verdict? Get off your phones, get off social media and instead listen to this song. Stop taking photos of yourself or your lunch and connect via music. “Swarm” from Zero Theorem proves there is hope for us all. Besides Caesar, Zero Theorem is Roy Lev-Ari (guitar), Max Georgiev (guitar), Eloy Palacios (bass) and Jake Hayden (drums). Previous releases include “You”, “Area” (2018) and “Becoming” (2018). Connect with people and be yourself but stop trying to fit it, dammit. Zero Theorem prove that they can take the basic rock song, flip it around, tangle it up the way they want it and create a universally accepted rock track in “Swarm”.
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